Saturday, November 27

NinjaRMM’s 2021 IT Investments Survey: The Role of Legacy Systems in IT Modernization

The digital transformation is advancing: All companies have the topic of digitization on their agenda, which makes the demands on IT managers more and more complex. One of the most important steps for companies in order not to lose touch is to modernize their IT infrastructure.

Most organizations plan to do this – according to a recent survey by NinjaRMM. Obsolete hardware and infrastructure should be replaced in this context – after all, in 36 percent of the organizations surveyed, the oldest critical technology is five years old or even older. The older the old systems, the greater the administrative effort and the risk of security risks.

Surveyed at the beginning of 2021 NinjaRMM 1,000 participants, who are responsible for the IT and network environments in their companies, on their IT investments. IT managers in Europe, the USA and Australia were interviewed – including 200 IT managers in Germany.

In particular, the IT structures in companies, the current status of IT modernization, but also the role of legacy systems were the focus of the survey. One of the positive findings of the survey is that 67 percent of organizations reported an increase in IT staff in the last year. It is also positive that 81.5 percent of those surveyed had a higher IT budget in 2020 than in 2019.

In Germany, most survey participants (58 percent) see increased security within the organization and compliance with legal regulations as the most important areas of influence for IT. Half of the respondents said IT was also a key factor in increasing the efficiency of other departments.

34 percent and 27 percent, respectively, consider them to be essential in order to bring products to market more quickly and to differentiate services from the competition. Only one in five stated that IT offers internal reporting and transparency in all business areas – from an international perspective, 43 percent of the respondents see this as an important IT task, in the USA and UK it is even half of the survey participants.

For 94.5 percent, accelerating IT modernization has a medium to high priority for corporate management. The replacement of outdated hardware and infrastructure is the top priority in Germany with 61.5 percent and therefore has a higher priority in this country than in an international comparison.

The topic of cybersecurity takes second place: Here 45 percent see the improvement of guidelines, tools and procedures as important. For a third, the relocation of locally stored data to the public cloud is important, and 30 percent of the respondents see the switch from local to cloud software as relevant. A quarter of the respondents consider the modernization of IT management solutions to be an essential aspect of IT modernization and 24.5 percent consider the implementation of agile management practices.

It is also interesting that in almost 60 percent of the German companies surveyed, the hardware is on average no more than 5 years old, in around 20 percent of those surveyed it is even 10 years old or older. The same applies to software: 58.5 percent use software solutions that are 5 years old or newer, while 18 percent stated that they use software that is 10 years or older.

One of the big takeaways from the survey is that 36 percent of companies have the oldest critical technology at least five years old. This could be one reason why the IT staff in 70 percent of German companies spend more than 10 hours a week just managing legacy systems.

The effects of the legacy systems on the companies surveyed range from outdated IT infrastructures (43.5 percent) and technologies (41 percent) to complex processes (34.5 percent), missing IT documentation (32.5 percent), inadequate tests of Network environments (20 percent) and duplicate or repetitive IT tasks (19.5 percent). There is a clear need for action here.

In Germany, 70 percent of the survey participants stated that the maintenance of legacy technology hinders the innovative strength of their company and has a negative effect on the ability to react appropriately to market challenges.

43.5 percent of those surveyed do not have the budget to take care of their legacy systems appropriately, and 37 percent each see a major challenge in managing new or existing security gaps and adhering to compliance and data protection requirements. For 35 percent of companies, the lack of qualified specialists is a problem and a fifth see the time-consuming manual administration as a challenge.

There is a clear need for action here, because an alarming result shows that at least 57 percent of the German companies surveyed have already had at least one cybersecurity incident due to insecure legacy systems – internationally it is 48 percent of the organizations.

In summary, it can be seen that the surveyed companies in Germany are more confident in a country comparison: 96 percent of the German participants stated that their organization had sufficient IT resources to deal with the technical legacy – only 87 percent internationally are convinced of this. 92 percent of German IT managers would also estimate that their organization is able to modernize IT management and reduce technical legacy. Despite some challenges, the survey still shows that companies feel prepared to cope with the negative legacy issues in the IT infrastructure in the near future.

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